Surf and local turf

Story by Johnny Sain

Photo by Liz Chrisman

River’s Blend Grill & Seafood

303 West C Street, Russellville, AR

A couple of menu items that will always get my attention: locally sourced food and seafood.

If I can find both of those on the same menu, well, that’s a restaurant I’ll be eating from regularly. Sadly, locally sourced seafood just isn’t a geographic possibility here in the landlocked River Valley, but there are local alternatives that might surprise you.

Locally sourced means that the food, be it meat or veggies, was grown and processed nearby. The benefits to a local economy are obvious. But the benefit of local food to your palate is that you get to taste the flavors of the region, which are often quite different from the standardized, globalized fare offered everywhere else.

And the good thing about seafood? It’s seafood — enough said.

River’s Blend Grill & Seafood is one of those restaurants that offer both of those excellent menu options.

We started off with the loaded seafood fries — a mountain of golden potato goodness drenched in a creamy garlic sauce and covered with crustaceans. Then it was on to a bucketful of fisherman’s feast including boiled shrimp, snow crab legs, whole potatoes, and corn on the cob. We finished off with a delightful honey-lime glazed ahi tuna and washed it down with made-in-house root beer, one of several in-house sodas offered at RBG.

Sadly we didn’t get to try the locally sourced entrees, but that just means we know exactly what we’ll be having next time along with the possibility of Arkansas caviar. Yes, real caviar from the Natural State, perhaps the best blending of local and seafood(ish) eats around.